Berkeley Heights is a friendly suburban community comprising only 6.3 square miles, and is nestled in the Watchung Mountains less than 30 miles from Manhattan, with convenient rail and bus connections to the city. The town is bordered by the Passaic River to the north and I-78 to the south. In 2021 Niche.com rated Berkeley Heights Township as one of the best places to both live in and retire to in NJ, and rated Berkeley Height’s school district an A+.
What else makes Berkeley Heights special? Restaurants in-town and nearby offer a variety of ethnic menu choices. There are plenty of parks for those who enjoy the outdoors. Berkeley Heights is also home to some interesting historical sites for history buffs, notably The Deserted Village of Feltville, and the Littell-Lord Farmhouse Museum and Farmstead. And there are a variety of yearly organized events that enhance the strong sense of community within the town and help to bring the community together.
The Berkeley Heights Train station is in the center of town on the Gladstone Branch of New Jersey Transit, offering two direct trains to New York Penn Station each weekday morning (on the Morris and Essex line), and two direct trains each weekday evening for the return trip, with connections also to Hoboken and Newark. Express travel times to Manhattan range approximately 50 to 56 minutes. There are also a number of additional morning trains that require a transfer in Summit or Newark to get to Penn Station. Another commuting option from Berkeley Heights to Manhattan is via the Express Lakeland bus to Port Authority Bus Terminal, also typically under an hour commute.
In 2021 the average single family home in Berkeley Heights sold home value was $709,000, ranging from the mid $300’s to just over $1,300,000, while the value of townhomes averaged around $400,000. Neighborhoods within Berkeley Heights are comprised primarily of Colonials, Ranches & Split level homes built in the mid 1950’s through the 1970’s, with some homes built 1940’s or older, and a few developments in the 80’s, 90’s & 2000’s. Below are some of the neighborhood’s you’ll find in town:
The renowned Berkeley Heights school system, rated A+ by Niche.com, consists of three elementary schools for grades 2nd through 5th, plus an early childhood center for only Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade. There is also one middle school. And there is one high school, which also services nearby Mountainside Township.
Berkeley Heights is sandwiched between open space, bordered to the North by the Passaic River County Park, the location for the annual Rubber Duckie Festival and to the South by the Watchung Reservation, Union County’s largest park with 1,945 acres. People go there for it’s Loop Playground and Trailside Nature & Science Center, as well as to hike, fish, ride horses, canoe and picnic.
Snyder Park in Berkeley Heights, just north of the train tracks on Snyder Avenue, has a newer playground popular for its water splash pad spray section, and has areas for both older and younger children. Memorial Park, with a great tribute section for veterans, is the site of the annual free Summer Concert Series. Plus there is a newer ‘Bibba’ playground there with an interactive app, designed to help get kids who are sitting inside front of screens, outdoors and active in the real world. Also, annual 5k races in town begin and end in this park. Peppertown Park is adjacent to the Berkeley Heights train station at the intersection of Plainfield & Sherman Avenue, and is the site for the Annual Bocce Tournament & Festival. The Grove Park in Connell Corporate Park is a pedestrian-friendly campus with multiple recreational experiences and environments, with a space for outdoor eating, jogging and even an outdoor work center with desks, WiFi, charging stations, outdoor foosball, ping pong, checkers and backgammon, all alongside a waterfall that cascades over stone steps. It is also the site of Berkeley Height’s annual Vegan Fest, featuring yoga, Tai Chi, children’s creative dance along with a vegan cook-off.
‘Winterwalk’ is an elaborate annual event in Berkeley Heights, held the first Saturday in December throughout the center of town, featuring an ice rink, an ice sculptor, bounce house, live entertainment, food trucks, sporting challenges, a beer garden and wine tasting, face painting, photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and fireworks. Additional annual events include Mt. Carmel’s Italian Feast & Fireworks event, Restaurant Week and a Bocce Tournament and Festival. There’s also VicFest, in honor of Victor Guidetti III, which is all about having fun, featuring trucks, cars, motorcycles, food trucks, live bands, raffles, a beer and wine tent.
For those who enjoy swimming, there is a newly built outdoor Community Pool at the Berkeley Heights YMCA, and The Berkeley Swim Club, a private swim club with a salt water pool. A town-run Summer Playground Camp is available for children in Kindergarten through 7th grade, and there’s a teen travel camp as well. For adults there’s pickle ball and tennis, as well as an active Seniors program.
History Buffs will appreciate The Feltville Historic District, 130 acres known locally as the ‘Deserted Village’, located in the Watchung Reservation in Berkeley Heights. It’s an historic area which contains several buildings dating to the 18th century. Also, the 18-acre Littell-Lord Farmhouse Museum & Farmstead includes a Farmhouse dating from around 1760, listed on both the New Jersey and national Registries.
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